Why have I been avoiding writing a post in the past 2 weeks? I’ve been on COETAIL daily, reading and commenting on other blogs, but I just couldn’t make it to my own. Here are a few reasons:
1) Really heavy workload this week at school. I actually am the facilitator for our Elementary School Emerging Technology group (scary, I know), and I had (have;) a lot of organizing to do with that, including our first meeting last week.
2) 2 kids, ages 4 and 2. I have 2 full-time jobs. When my job as a 4th grade teacher finishes at 4:00 (who am I kidding–this job never finishes!!), my (more important) job as MOM calls me up to bat. When I finally get them to bed, I am just too dog-gone tired sometimes to get anything else done. (I often think about people who get to read for fun. Ahhhh, that sounds lovely. Does it count that I skimmed my new cookbook the other day in the car waiting at the stoplight?:)
3) Apprehensiveness. This actually may be the real reason I haven’t got to blogging these last couple of weeks. I feel like my daughter at ballet class. She loves going to class (even though she complains about it) and watching her peers dance. But when it’s her turn, she doesn’t like people watching her. She feels uneasy with all eyes right on her. I feel the same way sometimes in this course. I absolutely love checking everyone else’s blogs; I’m learning so much each day. However, when it’s my turn, I feel like I’m up on stage and I forgot the words to my song. I know that with more and more practice, I’ll figure WordPress and other minor annoyances out. It just takes a little time…which is why I’m so glad that this entire first course is dedicated to getting our feet wet.
Okay, now onto to my actual post:) As I read Marc Prensky’s Shaping Tech for the Classroom 2 weeks ago, I cannot stop thinking about when he discusses the 4-step process of technology adoption. As I mentioned above, I am the facilitator for our ES Tech Pioneer group. I’m really trying to move this group into the 3rd and 4th steps,”Doing Old Things in New Ways” and then, “Doing New Things in New Ways.” We, as a school, have the potential to move forward as we’ve got a 1:1 situation with computers in upper elementary. Each student has their own computer, but the computers stay on a cart at the end of the day. The computers are not personalized. I remember Jeff telling us when we were setting up our RSS Readers to make sure we subscribed to sites that were of personal interest to us. And so I did–healthy/natural living and foods, travelling, parenting. The result? I actually go and read my RSS on a regular basis. It’s not to say that I’m not interested in Ed Tech, but my RSS Reader now represents me as a whole person. That’s why, as Prensky says, we need to let kids customize their computers, and I completely agree. Some people would disagree. They would say that they are school property and that letting kids personalize would get too messy. Kids may even think they can use the computers then to connect with others by chatting online or download their own music onto the machines. Absolutely not. To me, this is the thinking of a digital immigrant.
The concept of digital natives and digital immigrants is one that fascinates me. When I see my 2-year-old quickly navigate through the iPad or iPhone, I am reminded how normal it is for her, and not some new mind-blowing piece of machinery (as it is for many of us digital immigrants). Prensky is right. In order to truly reach our 21st century learners, we need to change our way of thinking and teaching. We need to let go of the old ways how we learned and move into the future. Now, just how do we do that? That’s where I’m going to need some more guidance…